Seeing your pet suffer from allergies or allergic symptoms can be devastating for pet owners. Your dogs may suffer from severe itching if they are prone to seasonal allergies. Allergies, as well as its symptoms, can affect your dog’s lifestyle and activities – difficulty sleeping, skin irritation, and so on.
Unluckily for pet owners, when they visit a vet to tackle this problem, they receive a prescription for a drug like Apoquel. This is not the way out.
Your dog can also benefit from other natural treatments like CBD for dogs with allergies. You may ask, can CBD help with allergies? How effective is CBD for dogs with skin allergies?
To answers these questions, you need to know about allergies, symptoms, causes, CBD, and how CBD for dogs with allergies will benefit your pet.
Skin allergy is a type of allergic reaction; it’s also called atopies. This condition is common in do, and it usually affects some dog breed more than others (German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are usually more sensitive to allergies).
Dogs with atopies are known to chew, lick and scratch certain parts of their body profusely, irritating and damaging the skin. Other areas affected include:
Causes of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Just like humans, an overactive immune system is responsible for skin allergies in dogs. The immune system, both in humans and animals, is designed to fight harmful agents and prevent the body of infections and diseases.
However, some dogs may develop an overactive immune system, triggering an immune response to substances to the environment that are not harmful, mistaking them as biological threats.
Your dogs may develop allergies when exposed to any of these environmental allergens:
- Dust mites
- Mold and pollen from grass or plants
Certain foods like beef, fish, chicken and soy can also cause dog allergies.
Traditional Treatment for Skin Allergies in Dogs
Allergy vaccines, medications and topical solutions are the traditional treatment options for skin allergies.
Allergy vaccines: Allergy vaccines can be used to reduce symptoms of allergy overtime.
Allergy medications: Corticosteroids (like Prednisone), cyclosporine (like Atopica), and antihistamines (like Benadryl) are the common medications used to treat dog allergies.
Topicals: You can use special conditioners, shampoos, creams, rinses and sprays to reduce allergies symptoms and dermatitis. Topicals are mostly used in treating this condition.
Corticosteroids can be used to treat skin allergies and dermatitis in dogs effectively, but they are not recommended for long-term use. Antihistamines can help reduce itching, but they are less effective, so they are combined with corticosteroids to treat dog allergies. Cyclosporine is also effective in treating allergies, but your pet can develop stomach upsets.
Have at the back of your mind that there is no cure for skin allergies, but they can be treated. Thus, you need to check your dog regularly with your vet to make sure your pet is responding to treatment. Early detection and treatment are very important in reducing allergic symptoms in dogs; thus, it’s essential you consult your vet early if you suspect your dog has atopic dermatitis or allergy.
Can CBD be Used to Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs?
CBD is a compound in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD differs from THC (a psychoactive compound in “marijuana”) because it does not have any psychoactive effects. One good thing about CBD is that it is non-toxic, produces no side effect, and it is well tolerated by the body. CBD oil is an extract derived from the cannabis plant, which has healing properties and is effective in treating pain and anxiety.
Can CBD help with allergies in dogs? The answer is yes. You can treat your pet with CBD for dogs with skin allergies. Let’s explain how it works.
All mammals have a natural system that processes cannabinoids; this system is referred to as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids are also produced naturally by the body. The ECS consist of cannabinoid receptors that control a lot of important bodily functions, such as the brain, immune and nervous system and organs.
The proper function of the ECS can be altered in your dog when it develops allergies. Allergies happen when your pet’s immune system sees a harmless substance (like pollen) as a threat, and respond to such substance, resulting in itchiness, sneezing, swelling, and so on. The immune system acts this way to protect the body from allergens, although it is not dangerous.
CBD oil for dogs with allergies contain cannabinoids that can help treat symptoms of allergies. They work by supplementing the body’s natural endocannabinoids. What they do is to subsidize the endocannabinoid system in your dog.
A groundbreaking study in 2007 revealed that the ECS is connected to allergic contact dermatitis. Researchers discovered that certain cannabinoids are active against allergic reactions. They noted, “These results demonstrate a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.”
In 2012, another study showed that CBD could treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs. CBD oil reduced itchiness and improved the appearance of the dog’s skin.
Also, CBD oil is a potent medication against inflammation; it can relieve swelling and itch caused by allergies.
CBD Can Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs
A study was conducted in 2005 by some researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kuopio, Finland, which examined the effects of CBD-rich hemp oil on atopic dermatitis. The effect of CBD oil was compared with olive oil over a 20-week randomized, single-blind crossover study.
During this trial period, the researchers monitored the fatty acid profiles of the patient’s skin and also instructed patients to fill out a questionnaire and provide extra information on skin itchiness, dryness, and more. From the results of the study, using hemp seed oil increased the levels of essential fatty acids in the skin
CBD Encourages the Growth of Healthy Cells
Besides treating symptoms associated with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, using CBD oil for dogs with allergies has also been reported to encourage the growth of healthy cells and skin.
A study was conducted in 2013 by some researchers from the Biomedical Science department, University of Teramo, Italy, which explored phytocannabinoids effects like CBD on the skin.
To be more specific, they tested the effects of CBG (cannabigerol), CBD, and CBDV (cannabidivarin) on human keratinocytes. From the results, CBG and CBD had useful effects.
Both compounds repressed certain actions in the cells (CBD especially) and were able to control the proliferation and differentiation of these skin cells.
Is CBD Oil for Dogs Safe?
CBD oil is totally safe; you have nothing to worry about.
A study carried out in 2018 revealed that CBD is completely safe for dogs. The dog used in this study suffered no side effects from CBD. Another study on osteoarthritic dogs reported no side effects of CBD treatment either.
Following a recent survey of veterinarians in the US, most vets mentioned that CBD oil for dogs is safe. They did not observe any serious side-effects of CBD treatment, although some dogs may become sleepy when they use it. Vets receive these questions on a regular basis from clients who are interested in using CBD oil.
In as much as there has been no recorded side-effect of CBD, ensure you administer the right dosage to your pet to be on the safer side. If you still have your doubts about this product, you can talk with your vet before administering CBD for dogs with allergies to your pet
How to Use CBD or Dogs with Skin Allergies
CBD products available are of 4 different types; they include CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD treats and CBD topicals. You can decide to give your dog any of this product, but I highly recommend CBD oil or CBD topicals.
CBD oils are administered orally (under the tongue) or directly to the skin. Topicals contain CBD and are applied directly to the skin. CBD topicals also contain compounds that can promote healthy skin; compounds such as coconut oil, Manuka honey and aloe vera.
It’s not clear about how effective oral administration of CBD is in treating skin conditions, so I prefer topical solutions
CBD for Dogs Allergies - dosage
It’s essential you are mindful of the dosage when taking any drug or supplement. In as much as CBD is non-toxic and has no side-effects, you don’t need to trouble yourself about overdose. Nevertheless, structuring your doses is still a good idea and pay attention to usage to see how your pet responds to treatment.
When giving your pet CBD oil for dogs with skin allergies orally, dosages normally range from a few drops a few times per day or just a larger dose. However, the dosage will vary depending on the product or brand you are using because each brand may have different instructions for dosage.
Regardless, if you want CBD for dogs with allergies like skin allergies, I advise you to go for topical solutions. CBD topicals like sprays and balms, for instance, normally come with specialized instructions for dosage. Nevertheless, the general rule is to apply topical once in a day, observe results, and adjust the dose if necessary.
If you want to, you can apply basic oil directly to your pet’s skin. This may be more realistic since not all the good CBD brands offer products of this kind.
Another good thing to do is to feed your dog immediately after applying topicals to stop them or distract them from scratching or licking the area.
I also encourage to check out my comprehensive CBD dosage guide.